Our Devotion for Monday, April 3, 2023 is taken from: Amazing Grace Devotions for Lent by Michael Hoy.
3 He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; 4 for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on."
Luke 21:3-4 NRSV
GIVING ALL ONE HAS TO LIVE ON
People paid taxes and made contributions in Jesus’ day just as they do now. We also still make hypocritical comparisons and practice injustice toward others, as people did then. This poor widow’s offering would have been scoffed at by the wealthy elite as such a meager contribution in comparison to their own. At the same time, these same wealthy elite did not consider how they had persecuted or denied those in poverty. But that is not the real point of the story.
This poor widow gives her very last funds, “all she had to live on.” Her one trusting confidence is that God is all she has left and all that she really needs. This is why Jesus calls this woman to our attention. Like the widow, in giving all he had, even his very life, Jesus is the one who commends himself into the hands of God. This ultimate contribution would bring eternal abundance to us all.
In 1896, J.W. Van Deventer and W.S. Weeden penned one of the most stirring expressions of faith and trust, I Surrender All. The hymn offers verse after verse of humble confession, faithful servanthood, and reflection. Michael writes of the inspiring faith and trust of a widow who brings all she has to the Temple. Jesus highlights her contribution, not for the amount given, but for the ultimate trust she shows in God’s ability to provide for her. It is easy to trust and rely on God when everything is going well and when we have enough to spare. Yet, what the widow’s contribution challenges us to examine is our willingness to trust in God when resources are scarce and hardships mount. On this Holy Monday, let us open our hearts, minds, eyes, and ears to the ways God will challenge us to broaden and deepen our trust in God, especially when it is uncomfortable.
Lord, in your unsparing generosity of grace for us, all the way to the cross, help us to live lives of unsparing love for others. Amen.